The Journeyman

You know where to stand, at 06:45,
on that concrete and slab pier,
above the meadow where I walk
into that sunrise,

which you will travel towards,
irritated by its flicker at speed
and jealous of my steps
through dew grass,

and further irritated by these,
my slow observations
of high-wire catching,
weighted, cobwebs,

as you journey into the Bridge,
on a service which sucks
out your life,
out of which
no holiday survives.

The Tease

I cannot recall her name,
pretty as she was,
taking me on that crossing
to the island, the other side,

holding my hand,
a new experience,
of other’s bone and flesh,
before only my own:

She made me balance, barefoot,
with my shoes strung, because
the weir head, a concrete slab,
was our submerged bridge,

rushed cold by the constant
flowed inches of water;
then we were there,
over, into the skinny woods,

no tree much older than her,
she being older than I,
in amongst tight saplings,
and there she pushed me,

against a thin trunk.
We called them ‘snogs’,
her breath inside me,
and her roaming tongue,

as foreign as a thick snake,
it performed a dance,
charming me, hardening me,
but it was then stopped:

A laugh, a man watched,
and she touched again,
to feel her effect on me,
and they walked away.

Distances

awake at 3.30
where you sleep
writing at 5.30
here in the east
to the wired hum
of the ceiling fan
my breath circulates
as pre-planned
to assist my sleep
in this Israeli heat
which at midday
will force my retreat
but now disturbed
by my body’s pain
my dreams      my freedom
are gone again
until I return
to my forced collapse
this mid-afternoon
pain-free       relaxed
under sleep’s drug
I’ll relish       once more
my prior state
far time zones before

https://www.whitehelmets.org/


Dusted by the fallout,
now grit-showered,
the weight of white
on their protection,
on their masked faces,
still ringing in the ears
of their hearing,
hours after digging,
each child-cried to find:
A short limb of victory,
as they fight war’s
finger-choke:
They wage their own,
without weapons,
but pictures.

https://www.whitehelmets.org/